NMV’s “Resist and Rebuild” Open Call closed in March, and we were eager to know whether the energy we’ve seen on the national stage would translate into a boost in applications. The verdict is in: we received a record-breaking 500 applications – almost twice as many as our last open call!
From filter bubbles and misinformation to storytelling and new models for journalism, this year’s applicants are really swinging for the fences. We’ve been impressed by the variety of inspiring projects, and see some early themes emerging.
The majority of applications fit into five main categories:
- Journalism and Media including internet TV channels, podcasts, short and feature film, dialogue journalism, new revenue models for local and investigative reporting, and facilitating easier access to information for journalists
- New Models for Organizing including new tools, calls to action, and strategies for engaging newly politicized people
- Transparency and Constituent Engagement including voting and strategies for tracking and holding representatives accountable
- Misinformation and Filter Bubbles including credibility scores, strengthening public interest journalism, opening up echo chambers, and counter-messaging the right
- Art and Culture including using live and digital storytelling and deepening conversations to shape hearts and minds, connect across divides, and shift people’s perspectives
Applicants are also focusing on engaging and activating specific constituencies for future elections, with women and millennials emerging as key target audiences. And last but not least, we received many applications addressing specific issue areas, including:
- Addressing Criminal Justice Reform and Policing by providing tools and solutions to communities, police and people who enter and exit the criminal justice system
- Rallying around Immigrants and Refugees by mobilizing and providing support to at-risk communities and shifting public sentiment in favor of these groups
- Investing in Education and Ed Tech by facilitating better, more compelling educational experiences for students
Over the last few weeks, we’ve met with 60 of these amazing entrepreneurs to hear their pitches and dig into their strategy, business models, and revenue generation plans. We’ll be posting more reflections and lessons learned in the weeks ahead, as well as announcing our finalists. Stay tuned!